Growth in All Areas

Article excerpt

Dubbed "La Muy Leal y Noble Ciudad (The Most Noble City)" by the Queen Regent of Spain in the late 1800s, Iloilo City has been luring locals and foreigners alike with its colorful festivals, striking churches, Spanish and American colonial architecture, and its close proximity to the other thriving metropolis of the Visayas islands.These days, the regional center of Western Visayas is also fast becoming one of the most recognized cities in the country, as far as Executive Strategy Management (ESM) is concerned. When it first adapted the Performance Governance System (PGS) in 2005 under the leadership of former Mayor Jerry Trenas, Iloilo City then was a far cry from the Iloilo City of today. Before the PGS came into the picture, the delivery of public service was far from efficient and people from the government were perceived as incompetent."These were stumbling blocks to the government and the biggest challenge was to introduce change," shares Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog. "At that time, I was still city councilor but I was convinced the system would work. The former mayor effectively communicated the Palladium Balanced Scorecard and upon having the support of the city council, we embarked on Iloilo's journey toward PGS institutionalization."'A Premier City by 2015'Progress begins with a vision. And Iloilo City's is succinct enough: "To be a premier city by 2015." However, government today has become quite complex: Strategy execution and coordination across the various local government units, departments and agencies is becoming even more crucial, especially in the face of rising public demand and expectation. According to Dr. Jesus Estanislao, chairman of the Institute of Solidarity in Asia (ISA), results are achieved by integrating governance strategy execution. "There is a need for cultural transformation in terms of how our country looks at governance," he says.With investors restoring their confidence in the country, local government units are encouraged to work in tandem with the private sector in order to achieve their goals without being restricted financially. "The government has its own limitations, especially with regard to budget, so what we did in Iloilo City is create a solid multi-sector coalition, working independent of each other but with the same goal in mind: to achieve the vision of becoming a premier city that is vibrant, well-governed and prosperous," shares Mabilog.In 2009, Iloilo City became the first public or private organization in the Philippines to be inducted into the Palladium Hall of Fame in Jakarta, Indonesia for successfully spearheading good governance. "This was best seen in the public-private collaboration for our annual Dinagyang Festival, now a tourism icon in Iloilo City," says Mabilog. "In 2006, a year after we implemented the PGS, the Dinagyang Festival was chosen the best tourism event by the Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines, and other government units have since made Dinagyang a model of excellent festival administration and effective partnership with the private sector."Citizen InvolvementWhen Mabilog first assumed office last July, his first goal was "to make the community aware of the city's history and development. …